RACE IS ONE OF FIVE GRADE I BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2017)–It was a case of conditions to order on Saturday at Santa Anita, as Paradise Woods returned home and rediscovered her winning form, taking the Grade I, $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes by 5 ¼ lengths in gate to wire fashion. Ridden by Flavien Prat and trained by Richard Mandella, Paradise Woods cruised a mile and a sixteenth in 1:44.34.
A record-breaking 11 ¾ length winner of the Santa Anita Oaks three starts back on April 8, the 3-year-old Union Rags filly was subsequently well beaten as the favorite in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks May 5, and even more concerning, was then well beaten as the 1-5 favorite in the Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes on Aug. 27.
With Mandella waxing confident and recent stakes winner Shenandoah Queen a late scratch, Paradise Woods broke from the outside post position in a field of just four fillies and mares and was long gone on the lead through splits of 23.13, 46.89, 1:11.50 and 1:37.33.
With no show wagering, Paradise Woods, who is owned by Pam and Martin Wygod and Steven Sarkowsky, was off at 1-2 and paid $3.00 and $2.20.
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Faithfully, who was a distant third after the first half mile rallied for the place while never threatening the winner. Off at 7-5, she finished 13 ¼ lengths clear of Motown Lady and paid $2.20 to place.